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Device designed to increase seatbelt usage among the elderly, disabled, and injured


The Easy Reach flap is ideal for printing company logos or other promotional information.   Easy Reach enables motorists of all ages to more easily grasp and pull the seatbelt shoulder strap over their laps. Lightweight and durable, it stands up to repeated use.

Kingsport, Tenn. (April 13, 2004) – M D Works, Inc., a medical device and consumer product design firm based in Norcross, Georgia, has chosen Voridian’s EMAC+ SP1307, a specialty copolymer, for its latest design innovation. The patent-pending device, Easy Reach™, is a seatbelt attachment designed to help motorists--especially the elderly, disabled, or injured--to more easily reach their seatbelt. Easy Reach is made entirely of EMAC+ SP1307, an ethylene methyl acrylate resin selected for its design functionality and unique tactile properties. Voridian is a division of Eastman Chemical Company, a supplier of a broad range of polyesters, polyolefins, specialty polymers and copolymers.

After designing the prototype for Easy Reach, M D Works was challenged with finding a material that had somewhat contradictory performance criteria: pliable, but able to hold its shape; resistant to ambient temperatures, but easily molded with the right melt temperature; tough, but soft to the touch and light; and high-quality, but cost-effective.

Says Beverly Puckett, managing director of IdeaSpring, the business development and product launch arm of M D Works, “We tested four or five polymers without success before Eastman advised us on its Voridian EMAC resin, which was a phenomenal success.”

Lightweight and durable, Easy Reach is produced by injection molding into a single, complex mold. The device consists of a flexible flap with four built-in snap closures that wraps around the seatbelt shoulder strap. A five-inch loop extends from the flap and is easily reachable to help seated drivers and passengers pull the seatbelt over their laps. A version modified for children’s use is also available.

EMAC+ SP1307 provides important design functionality. A transparent resin, it interacts well with most colorants, enabling MD Works to produce the device in multiple colors. Because of its pliability, it picks up even slight design details in molds, allowing engineers to design textures, surface gloss, product codes, brand names and other information directly into the mold itself.

“Using this EMAC polymer has enabled us to produce a durable device that has a soft, leathery feel, with enough stiffness to enable the snap closures to hold, and enough tensile strength so that the loops do not stretch out over time,” adds Puckett.

EMAC polymers offer important production efficiencies. They process at low melt temperatures, enabling faster in-mold cooling and increased output. They exhibit high-solids fillability and compatibility. Once heated, they flow easily through injection molding gates. An extremely stable material, EMAC runners and excess trim can be easily shredded and recycled for reuse.

In addition, EMAC resins meet FDA requirements for single and multiplayer packaging and medical devices. “Creating a durable, non-toxic product was very important, as this is an item that children are likely to get their hands on,” says Puckett.

IdeaSpring’s manager also commented on the expertise and product knowledge of its Eastman representative. “During our initial conversation, our Eastman account manager recommended the precise material we needed,” she says. “He advised us throughout the product testing phase, and even helped us to find the right inks for printing and foil-stamping logos onto the product. This is important, as Easy Reach is for sale as an advertising specialty item.”

About Eastman
Headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., U.S.A., Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. The company has approximately 15,000 employees in more than 30 countries and had 2003 sales of US$5.8 billion. For more information about Eastman and its products, visit

For more information about Eastman’s EMAC product line, please contact


Peter Eschbach, Media Relations Manager,

Eastman Chemical Company,

tel: 423-229-6636,


visit or

For more information about Easy Reach, please contact

Beverly Puckett


tel: 770-409-9639



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